Singapore Court Fines Chinpo Shipping Company

A Singapore court has fined Chinpo Shipping Company (Private) Ltd earlier today for its role in attempts to ship arms to North Korea.

The Singapore District Court fined Chinpo Shipping with SD 180,000 (USD 126, 431) having determined in December 2015 that the company was guilty of transferring financial assets or resources that could have been used to contribute to North Korea’s nuclear and missile weapon programs, Reuters reports.

According to the court, the company transferred over USD 72,000 to a Panamanian shipping company for the passage of the 1977-built North Korean vessel Chong Chon Gang through the Panama Canal.

The ship, which was en route to North Korea from Cuba, was intercepted while transiting the Panama Canal in July, 2013.

Once on board, the local authorities found the illegal cargo hidden underneath over ten tons of sugar.

At the time, Chong Chon Gang was carrying “the largest amount of arms and related materiel” seized entering or exiting North Korea since the adoption of UN economic and commercial sanctions in 2006.

The seized contraband included two Soviet-era MiG-21 fighters, air defence systems, missiles and command and control vehicles. Following the seizure, Cuba claimed that the weapons were obsolete and were being transported to North Korea for repair.

After the shipment was found, the vessel’s captain and the first officer were sentenced to twelve years in prison by Panama’s Second Circuit Court.

Chinpo was also found guilty of carrying out a remittance business without a license between 2009 and 2013.

World Maritime News Staff

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